'Arrow' post-mortem: Scoop on the big 'mid-mid season finale'
WARNING: If you have not watched Wednesday’s episode of Arrow — which featured the return of Jessica De Gouw as The Huntress — beware of spoilers below!
The Huntress’ return to Arrow did not disappoint.
In fact, it took a few turns that we definitely not see coming. The biggest? The vengeance-filled masked maiden ended the action-packed hour behind bars and seemingly without a purpose in life as her father was killed during the episode by gunfire (and much to her chagrin, it wasn’t hers)! We’ll fill you in on how that happened in our full recap, posting later tonight. In the meantime, however, see below for some scoop from De Gouw and executive producer Marc Guggenheim on what comes next for The Huntress and for Thea (Willa Holland), who ended the episode in Slade’s (Manu Bennett) clutches.
On why they killed Helena’s father:
Guggenheim: We definitely went into this with, “We’ve got to wrap up the whole Helena and her father storyline.” The one thing we were agreed upon in the writer’s room from the get-go was that Frank could not survive the episode. We had to end that story and close that chapter of Helena’s life so we could start a new chapter for her. … We definitely have an idea for a season 3 episode with the Huntress.
De Gouw: I think how this episode ends just puts her into a completely different headspace…and I think it’s opened up a whole new set of possibilities for her because she was so set on one path and now that it has been realized that that’s not what she wanted, it just frees her up for an entirely different life.
On whether The Huntress is redeemable:
De Gouw: I think most people are. And I think the place she’s at at the end of this episode, she’s certainly in a place where she can be redeemed…I think that it will be very interesting to explore her fighting for good or for very different reasons. But I think [she] definitely [is].
On next week’s episode:
Guggenheim: I think [Thea] is in physical danger and emotional danger. The sword that’s being held over her in episode 18 is a double-edged sword; it’s physical and emotional. And I can guarantee that by the end of one of those edges is going to cut her.
On Thea and Roy’s (Colton Haynes) breakup:
Guggenheim: If we were going to place Thea in jeopardy, we wanted Roy to feel some sense of complicity in that. And episode 18 is a very big episode. We sort of wrote it as a mid-midseason finale. In fact, when we turned in episode 18 to the studio, they said, “You do know you have five more episodes, right?” Episode 18 really could play as a season finale in terms of the things that happen and the number of cliffhangers we’re left with. And one of those things is Roy dealing with his own sense of responsibly. Meaning, “Had I not broken up with Thea in the previous episode, she might not be in Slade’s clutches right now.” So how does Roy deal with that?
On the recurring “Speedy” jokes:
Guggenheim: We’re slowly inching Roy toward an Arsenal place, and one of the running gags is he keeps getting called ‘Speedy.’ ‘I don’t like that nickname; come up with another nickname for me.’ And when the time is right, eventually the nickname that will stick will be Arsenal. But again the time has to be right.
On the appearance of Flash cast members Danielle Panabaker and Carlow Valdes in episode 19:
Guggenheim: This was something that really came about because, obviously, Barry (Grant Gustin) is in a coma at the end of episode 9 and that pretty much made it impossible for Barry to appear in episode 19, 20, [or any] episode of Arrow because he’s got to stay in a coma until October of next year. [laughs]…But one of our writers had a great pitch for bringing in a couple of the Star Labs characters and even though the circumstances of that pitch changed, the idea of bringing in those characters really, really appealed to us because it allowed us to honor our original intension at the beginning of the year, which was doing something Flash related around episode 19 or 20 without, of course, having to pay Grant Gustin a lot of money to sit around with his eyes closed unconscious the whole episode. This episode is really cool, and it allows us to further flesh out the the Flash universe in Arrow. We get to see their dynamic. They actually shot their scenes for the Arrow episode contemporaneous with shooting the Flash pilot. It’s like previewing Boba Fett in the [Star Wars] holiday special. Hopefully the Flash pilot will be a little better than the holiday special.
On Slade’s upcoming showdowns — yes, plural! — with Oliver (Stephen Amell):
Guggenheim: I think you will definitely see a series of showdowns — [and they’re] not repetitive. Their confrontation episode — 18 — is a very unexpected one. The way it unfolds is very unexpected. But this whole season has really been about Oliver versus Slade with a lot of other elements orbiting it, so I don’t think it will be a surprise to say that the conclusion of their story won’t happen until the final episode of the season.
On Sarah (Caity Lotz) and Oliver:
Guggenheim: I don’t think anyone is ever in a good place for too long on Arrow. So I will say that where they are right now is not where they will end up by the end of the year — either personally or professionally.
On who else will learn Oliver’s secret before the end of the season:
Guggenheim: I would say [the number of people who know] is going to go up before the end of the year, in terms of episode count. By the finale, more people will know than currently do….We talk a lot about this in the writers room in that are there too many characters who just know and does it diminish the secret identity. And where we have sort of come from is sort of the philosophy that when people know, when members of our cast of characters know, it draws them into our world and it draws them into the show more. So we tend to get more story out of people knowing than people not knowing. And you could say that too many people know, but the truth is that we sort of use the Dark Knight trilogy as our North Star and compass and a lot of people knew, particularly by the third movie. A lot of people knew Bruce Wayne was Batman and it doesn’t diminish my enjoyment of watching those stories unfold. So, you know, obviously, different philosophies, different points of view. I know that I wrote that line in episode 12 [that was] a nod to all the fans who have been complaining ever since episode 16 of last year when we told Tommy (Colin Donnell). As a one to those fans who think it’s too many. But for us as writers, we always go toward everything that gives us more story and more interesting story. And for now at least, certain people knowing is more interesting than certain people not knowing.